Tatas are Nuts to Bid for Fading Jaguar & Land Rover

Why the heck is India’s Tata group itching to buy Ford’s dying auto brands Jaguar and Land Rover?

Just doesn’t make sense to us as to why Tata – now the clear frontrunner to pick up Ford’s struggling Jaguar and Land Rover units – wants to acquire these two white elephants.

Both Jaguar and Land Rover are have beens that have no cachet anymore in the U.S., one of the biggest auto markets in the world.

Don’t tell us luxury brands like Jaguar and Land Rover that have failed in the U.S. are going to resonate well elsewhere in the world. Come on, get real.

As anyone who has driven on U.S. highways can tell you, the luxury auto brands that matter in the U.S. are Lexus, BMW and Mercedes. And it has been that way for several years.

Jaguar and Land Rover are part of Ford’s luxury Premier Automotive Group, which has fared badly for many years now.

Tata group’s preferred standing to acquire Jaguar and Land Rover became clear on Thursday when Ford’s executive vice president for Europe and Premier Automotive Group (Chairman of Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Ford of Europe) Lewis Booth said:

Ford is committed to focused negotiations at a more detailed level with Tata Motors concerning the potential sale of the combined Jaguar Land Rover business.

There is still a considerable amount of work to do, and while no final decision has been made, we will proceed with further substantive discussions with Tata Motors over the forthcoming weeks with a view to securing an agreement that is in the best interests of all parties concerned.

Besides the Tata group, Indian auto company Mahindra & Mahindra and One Equity Partners (a unit of J.P.Morgan Chase) have also expressed interest in Land Rover and Jaguar. Former Ford executive Jacques Nasser is the head of One Equity.

Meanwhile, Ford, the parent company of Jaguar and Land Rover, slipped to third place in auto sales in the U.S. in 2007 behind GM and Toyota.

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